Ramadan is the name of the ninth month according to the lunar calendar. The month of Ramadan carries a great importance in Islam and holds a special place amongst all other months. It is said the revelation of holy Quran was started in this month. The “night of decree” (qadr night) which was declared in Quran as “more favorable than a thousand nights” is celebrated in this month. Fasting, which is one of the main worshiping rituals of Islam takes place during this month. This is why Ramadan is holiest of months for Muslims and is called “sultan of the eleven months”.
Fasting is one of the aspects of Ramadan that gives it its importance. The almighty Allah commands “…whoever reaches the month of Ramadan must fast” (Bakara surah, 185. verse) thus making fasting a requirement in the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is the month of fasting, worshiping and patience. It’s the month when the gates of Allah’s mercy and grace are opened. The prophet Mohammed commanded that the prayers, worshiping and goodness that are heartily accomplished during the month of Ramadan are more precious before Allah.
Ramadan lasts 29 to 30 days. Due to lunar calendar, the start of Ramazan moves backwards by 10 days each year. Ramadan restores Istanbul’s modern hustle to an ancient calm for the devout, who spend the month in prayer, reflection and eventual celebration. But everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, can take part in many aspects of this festive month, whether enjoying traditional foods, exploring the Old City or – for those hardy souls – experiencing the traditional fast, even if just for a day.